Glowing Red and Green: The Mysterious Allure of Burmese Rubies and Colombian Emeralds

Article from Berganza


Tuesday 10th July 2012

Throughout the history of gemstone mining there have been certain sources which have been prized above all others for producing the most beautiful stones.  In the case of rubies this source has always been Burma; for emeralds, it is Colombia, more specifically known for by the specific mine from which they derive, the most important being Muzo and Chivor.  Gems from both these areas are the best quality in terms of size, clarity and colour due to unique and complex geological forces which caused the gems to form in these areas, characteristics which are noteworthy in themselves.  However, Burmese rubies and Colombian emeralds also exhibit an additional, little known optical phenomenon that solidifies their superiority over specimen from other localities—fluorescence. 

Fluorescence is the absorption and subsequent emission of light from an object.  An unusual trait, both rubies and emeralds from the aforementioned sources emit red fluorescence in normal light.  In the case of Burmese rubies, this creates a red glow which enhances their already ideal red hue.  With emeralds, it results in making the green appear even more vibrant, and to seem to glow from within.  Stones which exhibit this rare characteristic are truly a sight to behold, and are said to have a magical quality, enough to enchant even the most experienced gem connoisseur.

Natural Burmese ruby and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Natural Burmese ruby and diamond ring, circa 1915.
Ref: 12311
Marchak emerald ruby diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Marchak emerald, ruby and diamond ring cocktail ring, French, circa 1950.
Ref: 16957
Mellerio emerald and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Mellerio Colombian emerald and diamond ring, circa 1960.
Ref: 24225
Antique Colombian emerald diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Antique Colombian emerald and diamond cluster ring, circa 1905.
Ref: 24763
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